In a response to recent reports that the Canadian Catholic group, Development and Peace, a part of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is funding abortion advocacy groups in Mexico and South America, the Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto has explained to CNA that the bishops are currently looking into the accuracy of the reports.
Last week, LifeSite News reported that money from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) is being distributed to organizations that support the legalization of abortion and encourage the distribution of contraceptives in Mexico. Lifesite News spoke to the Director of International Programs at CCODP, Gilio Brunelli, who admitted that they do not do a thorough review of the activities that the organization supports.
Brunelli told LifeSite News that CCODP does not “have a policy for or against" abortion. When they asked again for clarification he replied, "No we don't," adding that such matters are "not our role. It's the role of our bishops."
Additionally, it was reported by the National Catholic Register that the Canadian bishops’ conference is also supporting “reproductive health” groups in Bolivia, such as the organization, “Centro de Promoción y Salud Integral” (CEPROSI), which is listed as a partner in the bishops’ Lenten mini-magazine.
Susana Inch Sainze, a Bolivian pro-life activist and attorney, discussed CEPROSI with the Register saying: “During the 2004-2005 [legislative year], a strong pro-abortion law, under the name of ‘Sexual and Reproductive Rights’ was passed by Congress in Bolivia but finally vetoed by the then-President. In order to force the government to pass the law, several pro-abortion organizations in the country created the ‘Vigilant Round Table of Sexual and Reproductive Rights,’ as well as the ‘Regional Committees for Sexual of Reproductive Health,’ as a way to openly promote abortion at a grassroots level. The Centro de Promoción y Salud Integral, CEPROSI, was one of the most militant, radical and active in this process,” she said.
Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto Richard Grecco explained to CNA on Wednesday that Michael Casey, the director of Development and Peace has informed him that “each agency and project mentioned in LifeSite is currently being investigated in detail to determine the accuracy of the allegations being made.”
“I hope and pray that the allegations are false,” Bishop Grecco continued. “However, if such is not to be the case, then I expect D&P to cease support of projects and sever connections with foreign partners that support or finance abortions.”
Bishop Grecco also informed CNA that he has requested that the National Council devise new policy at its meeting next week that will “direct the International Programs Dept. to make thorough inquiries of all foreign agencies and projects to assure that D&P partners and its projects are in compliance with Catholic values and the Magisterium.”
“Catholics especially those who generously contribute to D&P need and deserve assurance that D&P efforts around the world comply with Catholic values and teaching,” he concluded.